Expensive JOAN: My senior Maine coon, adopted in early 2020 right before COVID, is an indoor and deck cat with ideal manners.
He is now 14 and a charming cat certainly, but he has a very curious pattern. He likes to suck on the side — not the end — of my pinkie finger though sitting in my lap, typically next a food. It is like he’s nursing, and there is loads of tongue motion on my finger, which he retains delicately in between his teeth — he hardly ever bites down.
When he really gets heading, equally his ears commence wiggling. This is not at all hurtful, but I discover it really curious as well as amusing. I have appeared in a few of cat habits books but have by no means occur across any stories or dialogue about these kinds of a conduct.
Judging from the before records that arrived with my cat, it appears he preferred to do this with preceding owners (they weren’t thrilled), but no explanations for the behavior itself.
Any strategies what this is about? My vet doesn’t feel to know.
Karen O., Woodside
Pricey KAREN: Although the area — the aspect of the pinkie finger — is one of a kind, the action itself is very widespread. You are proper that it’s a nursing behavior.
As with most issues cat, the motive is not crystal clear. Some professionals say that when kittens are eradicated from their moms much too early, they build this suckling conduct as grown ups. Other individuals say it’s an indication the cat is bored, and continue to others say it is a compulsion.
What is obvious is that the action is comforting — to the cat, in any case. That is not to say your cat is stressed, but we all, animals and people, have comforting, calming behaviors.
I had a cat, Andy, who would nurse on the tip of his tail. I did not head it, apart from when he seriously got going, he made a somewhat uncomfortable sounds. I’d just gently press his tail absent and that was that.
As you don’t thoughts the suckling, there is no harm in allowing your cat go on. If it ever results in being an challenge, just move your hand absent when he begins and look for other strategies of supplying comfort and ease, this sort of as stroking his silky fur, rubbing his ears or scratching beneath his chin.
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